Bunchgrass Meadows

By Hal Opperman

The Site

Bring your rubber boots and prepare for a truly boreal birding experience in this pristine, 795-acre wet sedge meadow surrounded by spruce-fir forest, at an elevation of 4,961 feet.

back to top

The Birds

Wilson's Snipe, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Savannah Sparrow are among the nesting birds; northern bog lemming and moose are permanent residents. On the uplands, an open, wet forest of Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, and lodgepole pine is home to species such as American Three-toed Woodpecker, Chestnut-backed and Boreal Chickadees, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Hermit and Varied Thrushes, Townsend's Warbler, White-winged Crossbill (irregular), and Pine Grosbeak. Great Gray and Boreal Owls have been recorded here as well.

back to top

Directions and Suggestions

Getting to this isolated site requires a long drive on a rough (but passable) gravel road. From SR-31 at the south edge of Ione, go east on Sullivan Lake Road across the Pend Oreille River bridge. In 6.5 miles, turn right onto Harvey Creek Road (FR-1935), which climbs through forests and clear-cuts. In about nine miles, watch for FR-050, on the right. This ungraded spur drops down to a parking lot at the edge of the meadow in about 500 yards, but you may prefer to leave your car along the main road and walk in - especially if conditions are muddy. For fine forest birding, continue driving uphill on FR-1935 for about one mile, then walk along the ridgetop as far as you like in both directions.

back to top

References

back to top